TWELVE students and three teachers from Seton College, Upper Mt Gravatt, are preparing to take on the 48km Jim Stillman Cup Kokoda Challenge this weekend (July 19 and 20).
The teams of four Year 11 and 12 students and their teacher leaders will walk across rugged Gold Coast hinterland terrain with a 31-hour time limit (average time taken is 14 hours).
Seton vocational education and training/work experience co-ordinator Kathryn Flint said the event was a significant challenge for school-aged boys and girls, and for the teachers and parents who would support them through training and preparing and on the day itself.
She said the Kokoda Challenge provided a wonderful opportunity for a community spirit to be forged between those parents, students and staff who bind together to face the challenge.
“In turn, this strong sense of being united in heart and mind has been a concrete example of everything we seek to be at Seton College,” she said.
Ms Flint said the group had been fortunate to have the expertise of I Can, I Will founder Conan Visser to assist with training.
She said Mr Visser trained the students twice a week, free of charge, to assist with building self-esteem and confidence through the use of his programs.
The teams are also raising money for the Kokoda Challenge Foundation charity, to fund their Kokoda Challenge Youth Program.
The 18-month program develops the potential of both troubled youth and those who already have confidence and skills, by blending them together with adult mentors, allowing all to learn from their peers.
Ms Flint said after completing the Kokoda Challenge, the youth program participants would travel to Papua New Guinea to walk the Kokoda Track and complete community service in PNG and back in Australia for a further six months.
She said the aim was to instil the virtues of mateship, courage, endurance and sacrifice.
“These ideals fit in strongly with our mission at Seton with regard to turning girls and boys into fine young men and women,” she said.